Despite their 0-1 loss at home in their CAF African Football League tie at the weekend, Enyimba Head Coach, Finidi George, still believes his team is in a strong position to qualify for the semifinals of the competition.
Enyimba must beat Wydad Casablanca of Morocco in the second leg of the tie to qualify for Sunday’s semifinals.
The team left Nigeria for Casablanca on Tuesday for the game which is scheduled to start by 7.00 p.m.
Speaking ahead of the decisive game, Finidi said his wards lost the first leg to their inability to convert the numerous chances they created at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo.
He said: “It’s unfortunate we couldn’t score in the first leg, football is all about goalscoring. If we had scored, I think the overall result would have been different.
“We have the second leg on Wednesday. As much as we want to win, I’m happy that we lost 1-0. It gives us another opportunity to go back there and see if we can (win).
“If we have the same opportunities that we got here (Uyo), if we can take one or two, it’s going to be a different ball game. I am optimistic about the second leg.”
He admitted that Wydad are a ‘formidable side,’ saying, however, that Enyimba’s determination will make the game interesting.
“My team is prepared. Having watched my team play against Akwa United (in the NPFL), the chances we created gave me that confidence to go into this game.
“We know it’s not going to be an easy match. They are a formidable side. They are a good side.”
They have all the experience, but I think we have players that can match them.
“We will do our best to make sure that we win. That’s going to be our thinking.The players are prepared physically and mentally.”
He said the boys have been prepared psychologically to get them ready for whatever the North Africans would throw at Enyimba, adding, “So, I have no doubt that despite the fact that we know it’s going to be a tough game, my team is capable of winning it.”
The winner of the game will meet the winner of the Esperance versus TP Mazembe quarterfinal tie. Mazembe won the first leg in Congo DR 1-0 and will meet Esperance in the semifinal today in Tunis.
The second semifinal pits Al Ahli of Egypt against South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns on Sunday.
Al Ahli defeated Simba of Tanzania on the away goals rule after drawing with the East Africans in the two legs of their quarterfinals. The first leg ended 1-1 in Cairo, while the second in Tanzania ended 2-2, giving the Egyptians the advantage on the away goals rule.
Sundown advanced by holding Angola’s Petro Atletico to a goalless draw in Johannesburg after winning the first leg in Luanda 2-0.